El Puente Festival Dancers

TCA Excellence Grant

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TCA Excellence Grants are available to non-profit organizations that develop artistically complex and rigorous programming, and provide impactful arts experiences to Tempe residents. Eligible activities include the production/presentation of artistic performances, commissioning of new works, or continued innovation of existing programming. The grant supports a commitment to advancing Tempe as a vibrant and progressive community for cultural and artistic activity, and aims to fulfill the following recommendations from the Arts and Culture Plan:

  • Increase and promote Community-Initiated Arts projects
  • Expand co-productions, rentals and collaborations at the TCA
  • Increase culturally diverse programming at the TCA

TCA Excellence Grant Guidelines PDF


Grant Writing Support

It is recommend for all applicants to attend a one-on-one grant writing meeting where they will receive mentorship and support from Maja Aurora, Director of Arts Engagement. Email artsgrants@tempe.gov to make an appointment.


Amount & Deadline

Up to $10,00 - requires equally matching cash contributions


Monday, May 13, 2019 at 5 p.m.


Online Application

View Guidelines PDF

What You'll Need


Narrative Questions
  • Mission Statement (200 words max)
  •  Summary (150 words max) This section should give an overview of your project. The summary will be shared with City Council, and if funded will be in press releases, on social media, and on the Arts Grants website.  Write in a factual manner, in the third person, using complete sentences.
    • Who is involved in this project?
    • What activities will take place?
    • Where and when will the activities take place?
    • Why is the project important?
    • How will the project impact the community it serves?
  • Quality (750 words max) programming achieves artistic rigor and complexity, and provides rich arts experiences for audiences that elicit diverse stories, images, and perspectives, and brings equitable, diverse, and inclusive arts programming to the Tempe Center for the Arts.
    • What will audience members experience during your program? How does this program provide diverse perspectives and rich arts experiences for audiences?
    • What does artistic rigor and complexity look like within your field? How does this program reflect a complex and rigorous process and presentation?
    • Who will be presenting work or performing? How are artists selected? Provide examples of artists that you plan to work with, or of artists who have previously been involved in this program.
  • Community Impact (750 words max.) creates collective meaning that transcends individual perspective and experience, and affords attendees access to collective experience, engagement and/or reflection. There is a strong commitment to including artists, partners, community members, and stakeholders in the development and presentation of artistic work, and to intentionally serve the interests of their audience.
    • How does this program support Tempe’s efforts to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive programming?
    • Who is this programming created for? What connection does your organization have with that audience, and how was that community involved in the planning, development, and/or decision-making of this program?
    • How does this programming promote Tempe’s identity as a vibrant and progressive community for cultural and artistic activity?
    • Please describe any programming beyond that theatre that enables public to further engage through workshops, panels, meet-and-greets, talk-backs, etc.
  • Resourcefulness (500 words max.) is the ability to find stakeholders and supporters, and draw on the core strengths of artists, partners, and participants on a budget that reflects a responsible and sustainable use of city funding. (In addition to the narrative, your “budget form” will also be evaluated in this section)
    • How does the project draw on the core strengths of artists, partners, and participants?
    • What experience does your organization and/or partners have executing programming of this size and scope?
    • What partnerships or collaborations are being developed or deepened to support this festival?
    • How does this project demonstrate creativity in maximizing the resources available (financial, space, volunteers, in-kind, partnerships, etc.)?
  • Outcomes (500 words max.) of programming align with program goals and have clear evaluation methods.  The applicant knows who they are trying to serve with their programming and have clear methods and strategies of achieving their goal.
    • Explain the relationship between the goals, planned activities and evaluation methods.
    • Discuss any information collected from stakeholders, participants, artists, staff and board members that are used to measure the impact of your programming.
  • Budget Explanation (300 words max.): This is an area for you to go into further detail about your budget. You can use this space to describe any discrepancies, funding sources, or to break down payment structures for artists and contracted services.
2018-2019 Grant Recipients

Arizona Wind Symphony
The Bridge Initiative
Desert Overture
Grand Canyon Performing Arts
Higher Octave Healing
Lakeshore Music, Inc.
MAC & Company
Stray Cat Theatre
Tempe Winds


For full project descriptions
Download PDF

Final Report

Within 60 days of completing the project, a Final Report must be submitted.  The report will include the outcomes, actual budget and 3 professional quality images.  The grant recipient agrees to give the City of Tempe the rights to use any materials submitted in the Final Report for data collection and promotional purposes.

Final Report Form
Actual Budget Sheet
Audience Data Sheet



Maja Aurora
Director of Arts Engagement
(480) 350-5160

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